Kansas Press Association Newspaper Hall of Fame

The Kansas Press Association was formed in 1863, just two years after Kansas became a state and during the middle of the Civil War. Its purpose was to support the state's fledgling journalism community.

In 2022, Kansas University's Stauffer-Flint Hall became the official state Media Hall of Fame, which includes the Kansas Newspaper Hall of Fame, Kansas Broadcasters Hall of Fame and Kansas Photojournalism Hall of Fame.

As per a May 1, 2023 announcement by the university:

Portraits of the recent inductees will be displayed throughout the year along with an interactive touchscreen featuring the previous inductees. Each January, portraits of the new induction class will be installed, and the previous year's class will transition to the digital display.

Gloria was nominated by Linda Denning and Rosalie Ross, two journalists who have devoted almost their entire professional lives to the occupation and who are themselves in the KPA Hall of Fame.

Formal induction was during the 2023 President's Luncheon on November 3 at the Cyrus Hotel in Topeka, Kansas.

Award and Gloria accepting the award

Professional colleagues were solicited to provide materials supporting the nomination. Present at the ceremony were nominator Linda Denning and colleagues Steve Smethers, former director of the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Kansas State University, and Ron Wilson, director of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development. Gloria's brother Dave Freeland, sister Gaila Freeland de Chambi, husband Art Vaughan and Dave's companion Marilyn Leith were also present to help celebrate the occassion.

The following biography appeared in the induction ceremony's program:

Gloria Freeland, a native of Burns, Kansas, was a professor in the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Kansas State University for 37 years, retiring in May 2020. She was associate director of Student Publications, Inc. (now the Collegian Media Group) from 1983-1998, and director of the Huck Boyd National Center for Community Media from 1998-2020.

As director of the center, she organized annual lectures; helped design workshops for community newspapers; coordinated the Newspapers and Community-Building Symposium, co-sponsored by the National Newspaper Association; and worked with the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors on its annual “conversations in community journalism” paper competition. She also worked with the Kansas Press Association to place students in summer internships through her Community News Service class.

She organized major events, such as the Collegian's 1996 centennial celebration and the 2010 Miller School centennial gala, and she served on the planning committee for K-State's sesquicentennial activities in 2013.

Freeland was the School's internship coordinator for more than 15 years. She taught beginning reporting classes, advertising sales, and various community media courses designed to introduce students to the joy of working on weekly and small-daily newspapers.

Her keen interest in history led to her journalism students writing stories about World War II, rural Kansas schools, the sesquicentennial of Manhattan and Riley County, hometown grocery stores, and "lost towns" of Clay County, Kansas. Many of her students' stories and photos were published in area newspapers, including the Manhattan Mercury, the Marysville Advocate, the Council Grove Republican, the Clay Center Dispatch, the Riley Countian, the Abilene Reflector-Chronicle, the Wamego Times, and others.

One of the "lost towns" stories was about Morganville, Kansas adopting Fèves, France after World War II. Freeland and her husband, Art Vaughan, a former K-State engineering professor, further researched the story, interviewing people across the country and in France who were part of the sister-city relationship. This research led to multiple feature stories in area newspapers as well as in France. The couple wrote a book, "An Opportunity to Be Better," published in English in November 2020 and in French in fall 2022. This past July, they traveled to Metz, France to meet with French friends who were part of the connection and others who helped with the translation.

Freeland received her bachelor's in journalism and her master's in business administration from K-State. She worked on various Kansas newspapers, was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador from 1976-1978, and worked on the twice-weekly, English-language newspaper, The San José News in Costa Rica, from 1978-1980.

She received KPA's Dorothy and Karl Gaston Outstanding Mentor Award in 2016 and was named the Communicator of Achievement for Kansas Professional Communicators in 2015. She has received numerous state and national awards for her weekly online column, "Kansas Snapshots," that she started in fall 2001. Some of her columns have appeared in The Kansas Reflector, the Riley Countian, the Manhattan Mercury, and other publications.

Freeland is on the boards of the Riley County Historical Society and the Friends of the Beach Museum of Art, and she is a member of the Silver Creek Beneficiary Club.

She loves spending time with her family, photography, working on family history, learning languages, and traveling. The latter passion has taken the couple to many parts of the U.S., as well as to Europe, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand.

The couple has four children, Karen Ethridge (Mike McLin), Matthew Vaughan, Mariya Johanning Vaughan (Miriam Macedo), and Katherine Vaughan (Matt Webb); four grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

On a sad note, the day after the induction, Linda Denning, one of Gloria's nominators, died unexpectedly. Gloria had known her for many years and there was also an additional family connection ... Gloria's brother had handled Linda's taxes.

Then, four days after Linda's passing, Romelle Van Sickle, the former publisher of The Riley Countian, the newspaper where Gloria's weekly Snapshots column debuted, died in a Wichita hospital.

Linda Denning (left) and Romelle Van Sickle